Spy Photos: BMW 3-Series Hardtop Convertible on the 101

This image was lost some time after publication.
This image was lost some time after publication.

Generally, we leave the spy photography to professionals, like Brenda Priddy, Hans G. Lehmann and our readers. But now and then, opportunity and necessity conspire to force us to take matters into our own hands, and yesterday was just such a time. Rolling down the 101 a bit north of Santa Barbara, Eagle-Eye Pendleton spotted a car that didn't look quite right. At first blush, we thought it might be a disguised Volvo C70, which is most likely what the Motoren Werker of Bayern wanted passers-by to think. And besides, the Swedish postulate made no sense, seeing as the car's already been released. And then, from the rear three-quarter view, we noticed the distinctive Hofmeister kink.

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Bear in mind, we were in a rather visible vehicle; a bestickered Ferrari with no windows surrounded by snaps, BBS wheels with sticky Yokohama rubber, a tow hook and a rollcage. While it doesn't make for the stealthiest of mobile photography platforms, it does make for a rather fast one. When the driver of the mystery car caught us moving up on him in the rearview mirror, he took off like a shot; there was something about the car's acceleration that suggested turbo to both of us; it definitely had something of the Evo effect about it.

Undeterred, Pen opened the the eight throats of the quad Webers and pressed on. Realizing that resistance was futile in the face of the Italian onslaught (after all, Pen was wearing his racing shoes), the unnamed test-driver tried a different tack, allowing our battle-scarred 308 to pass as he dropped back, which gave us a clear shot of the disguised twin-kidney grille.

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Related:
Spy Photos: More On the BMW 3-Series Coupe Cabrio [Internal]

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